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Councilmembers individually sued

Members of the South Tahoe Redevelopment Agency were served legal papers Tuesday, just before the start of the City Council meeting.

All five agency members – Hal Cole, Brooke Laine, Tom Davis, Judy Brown and Bill Crawford – have been named individually and in their official capacities as City Council members in a suit filed against the city of South Lake Tahoe by Wallace Theaters.

Wallace Theaters is seeking a motion to stay in the Park Avenue Redevelopment Project, where it operates one movie screen. It also has filed for an injunction to stop the entire project, claiming that the agency has failed to act within California redevelopment law by letting the developers award lease space in the new development to an outside theater operator.



C. Nicole Murphy, Wallace’s attorney said she believes the city has a duty to give preference in the retail selection process to existing tenants.

The suit was filed March 27. The papers weren’t served until Tuesday’s meeting.




Agency member Judy Brown said the intention was to serve the agency members while they were in session, but the move was blocked by the city’s attorney, who accepted the papers for them.

“I guess it’s a legal maneuver,” Brown said. “Talking to (City Attorney) Cathy DiCamillo, we’re protected but it’s still unnerving.”

Mayor Tom Davis agreed.

“That’s what we have the city attorney for,” he said. “To sue us individually is ridiculous – we act as a council.”

The hearing for the motion is scheduled for April 25, at 9 p.m. in El Dorado County Superior Court.


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